Walking (Humbly) With God
A story from the beginning of the Bible tells of a man named Enoch who “walked with God.” Further into the narrative, we read that Noah, the ark builder, is characterized as walking with God (Genesis 6:9).
Later, comes the story of Abram, who became Father Abraham, to whom God gave the challenge “walk before me and be blameless” (Genesis 17:1). As the scriptures unfold, the metaphor of walking with God is repeated and expressed as the achievement of the ideal human condition. If this is the ideal, how do we achieve it? What does it mean to “walk with God?” While there are a variety of answers to this question, allow me to suggest a process by which we can begin the practice of living our lives in complete harmony with God’s ideals.
First, and perhaps foremost—We follow the Leader. In this case, it is my walk with God, not God’s walk with me. Knowing that it can be hard to wrap our heads around this idea, the Apostle Paul writes: “For we walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7). The idea is that we place our faith in God and make the choice to follow his lead in our lives in every circumstance. One of the most profoundly important acts in any spiritual life is to allow the power of the Divine full control over our lives.
Second—It’s God’s walk and God’s rules. The ancient book of Deuteronomy expresses this so perfectly.” You shall walk in all the way that the Lord your God has commanded you, that you may live, and that it may go well with you, and that you may live long in the land that you shall possess” (Deuteronomy 5:33). These are the benefits of living by God’s values, God’s standards of justice, and God’s way of interacting with one another.
Third—It’s a walk, not a race. It’s about walking, not winning. It’s about how you live your life, not how your life ends. It’s about the things that help you move through every situation—the values that propel you. The values we hold sacred at Adventist HealthCare are those that govern how we approach everything we do: Respect, Integrity, Service, Excellence, and Stewardship. These are not just words on a page but instructions for walking with God—and caring for one another.
Fourth—The presence of God is both the journey and the destination. We do not live our lives in isolation from God, hoping that at some point in the future God will become known to us. We can know God’s presence—and the power of His leadership and grace—in every minute and every circumstance. This is a great source of joy and comfort for many—and the basis for our confidence and faith in God’s guidance for our future. Using the journey metaphor as a way to express this, the psalmist writes, “Blessed are those whose strength is in you, in whose heart are the highways to Zion” (Psalm 84:5). In the Biblical book of Acts the expression is even more direct: “In him we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:28).
A much-loved scriptural verse from the book of Micah sums it up succinctly. “He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” (Micah 6: 8).